This is a review of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” by J. K. Rowling. It is the 3rd book in the Harry Potter Series. It follows “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets“.
Harry is back with the Dursleys for his summer holidays. It is by far Harry’s least favourite time of year. And this summer is even worse because his cousin Dudley’s Aunt Marge is coming to stay. She is a horror. She forces Harry to all her Aunt (even though they are not related) and delights in pointing out all of his faults and insulting his parents. Harry snaps, and decides to make a run for it, as he has broken the Wizarding Decree which forbids underage wizards from performing acts of magic outside of Hogwarts: School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
He catches The Knight Bus (quite by accident) to Diagon Alley, planning to withdraw his wealth from the wizard bank Gringotts, and live on the run. He fears if he is caught by the Ministry of Magic, he will be sent to the wizard prison, Azkaban. But he is met at The Leaky Cauldron (a wizarding pub) by none other than the Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge himself. Far from being imprisoned, Harry is not punished for his transgressions but let off rather lightly.
Harry is bewildered by this, having expected that he would be expelled immediately from Hogwarts, until he inadvertently overhears an argument between Mr and Mrs Weasley (parents of his friend Ron) about whether or not Harry should be told that he is in danger from a high profile wizard and escaped convict Sirius Black. Harry knows that he would be safest at Hogwarts, and this is no doubt the reason why he was treated with such lenience.
So Harry returns for another year at Hogwarts. But is he truly safe from Sirius Black at Hogwarts? And what of the terrible Azkaban guards that affect Harry so strongly? And who is the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher?
This is probably my most favourite book of the series. It was the first one I had to wait for to be published, and I read it over and over and over again as a young teen. Characters are fleshed out a little more, and they mature and grow a little. You find out more about Harry’s dead parents and the events leading to their deaths, and new and exciting characters are introduced. J. K Rowling manages to write another seamless novel, even better than her first two.
I have just watched the film also, and it was really not so bad. Apart from the (in my opinion of course) poor casting (purely aesthetic reasons) of Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. It was quite good and fairly true to the novel. I didn’t like the way “the beast” at the end (don’t want to give anything away) looked either. Ugh not very scary at all. Too skinny.